David Heaslip (ILF2012)


Institution: Melbourne Business School
Course: Development & Advanced Management

I consider myself very fortunate to have received a grant from the Industry Leaders Fund (ILF). The ILF is a great concept and there is no doubt it will have a positive impact on individual leaders and on the South Australian business community.

The application process is straightforward, and supporting documentation provides clear guidelines about what is required in the application.

Century is involved in manufacturing, and I was cognisant of the increasingly competitive environment in our industry and how I might guide our company through the forces impacting on us. I was searching for ways to improve my ability to set an appropriate direction for Century and how that direction could be effectively implemented.

My search included a considerable amount of research on what leadership study was available. I was also able to use the knowledge and experience of ILF staff, and spoke with a number of past ILF award recipients to assist my search. I finally chose two courses at Mt Eliza, Futures Thinking and Strategy Development, and the Advanced Management Program.

I chose the Futures Thinking and Strategy Development course to improve my planning skills for the business. This course provided ways to develop a long term vision, and to plan for various challenges that might arise in order to achieve our ‘desired future’.

I then attended the Advanced Management Program to improve my leadership skills and allow me to ensure we could execute our desired direction. This program helped participants understand ourselves as individuals and as leaders, and how we could use our existing strengths and newly acquired knowledge to transform our organisations. Both courses also exposed us to ways of dealing with an increasingly complex world.

Mt Eliza is a residential campus of Melbourne University, and is located on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. Staying on-campus meant we could concentrate on our course work, and provided an environment to form strong relationships with our study colleagues.

Attendees came from around Australia, New Zealand and various locations in Southeast Asia. Extending my network through these regions with high calibre people has been an important part of this experience, and I remain in contact with these people.

Mt Eliza provided a very professional level of support staff and lecturers from around the world, and delivered a challenging learning environment. I continue to examine and continue to reflect on ways to provide better leadership for Century.

As I reflect on my experience, I believe it has given me more confidence to act as a leader, and provided some tools to become a better leader. I look forward to the impact I can make on Century, and hopefully on the wider community.

David Heaslip